EVERYTHING is up in the air for Charles Hutchinson in his search for cultural entertainment and enlightenment as balloons take to the Yorkshire skies. Tea is on the menu too.
Festival of the week: Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta, Castle Howard, near York, today until Bank Holiday Monday
THE Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta has left the green expanse of York’s Knavesmire for the country air of Castle Howard, its new (stately) home. The family-friendly extended weekend features mass balloon launches, tethered balloons and night-glow displays that light up the evenings against the backdrop of Castle Howard’s grounds and architecture.
Look out for headline 9pm live sets from Sister Sledge tonight, Eurovision star Sam Ryder tomorrow and Joel Corry on Monday. For family entertainment, here come The Raver Tots Big Top each afternoon, Andy And The Odd Socks (tomorrow, 2.30pm); CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher (Monday, 1.30pm); Dick & Dom DJ Battle (Monday, 3pm) and street-dancers Diversity (Monday, 4.30pm).
Activities include a fun fair, TV character meet-and-greets and the world’s largest inflatable assault course, culminating in a spectacular finale on Monday evening. Box office: yorkshireballoonfiesta.co.uk.
Tea time part one: Joseph Rowntree Theatre Summer Garden Party, Trinity House, Stockton on the Forest, near York, tomorrow, 3pm
FIRST held in 2021, the Joseph Rowntree Theatre Summer Garden Party returns this weekend, taking over the private garden of Trinity House. A choice of teas with home-made plain or cheese scones will be on the menu, complemented by a raffle and cake stall.
Special guests The Notebook, an acoustic duo, will be performing two sets spanning soul, ambient jazz and “live lounge-type” pop. Proceeds will go to the JoRo’s fundraising appeal. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Children’s activity of the week: Story Craft Theatre’s Summer Fun Garden Party, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, Monday, 10am to 12 noon
STORY Craft Theatre and At The Mill join forces on Bank Holiday Monday for a magical event celebrating the joys of being in the garden.
Suitable for two to eight-year-olds, York duo Janet Bruce and Cassie Vallance’s morning party fun includes craft making, a scavenger hunt, a word search, lawn games and an enchanting interactive theatre show. Box office: athemill.org.
Film screening of the week: Sovereign, York Theatre Royal, Wednesday, 7pm, and Thursday, 2pm and 7pm
CAMERAS recorded the July 23 evening performance of York Theatre Royal’s 2023 community play, York playwright Mike Kenny’s adaptation of C J Sansom’s Tudor-set political thriller, Sovereign, at King’s Manor, Exhibition Square. This film can be viewed at three free screenings in the Theatre Royal’s main house with a booking limit of four tickets per person.
In 1541, lawyer Matthew Shardlake (Fergus Rattigan) and his assistant Jack Barak (Sam Thorpe-Spinks) are sent to York to await the arrival of Henry VIII on his mission to sort out northern rebels. Cue intrigue, mystery, murder and North v South shenanigans. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Britpop memories of the week: Sleeper, The Crescent, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm
THE Crescent has teamed up with the National Lottery and Music Venue Trust for a United By Music summer show with Britpop legends Sleeper.
Louise Wener’s reawakened band are back on the road, where fellow founder members Jon Stewart (guitar) and Andy Maclure (drums) are joined by bassist Kieron Pepper, previously of The Prodigy, to reactivate Inbetweener, What Do I Do Now?, Sale Of The Century, Nice Guy Eddie, Statuesque et al. Honey Moon support. Tickets update: Sold out; for returns only, check the crescentyork.com.
Tribute show of the week: The Rocket Man, A Tribute To Sir Elton John, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday, 7.30pm
MISSING Sir Elton after that Glastonbury finale? Step forward Jimmy Love and his band, ready to head down the Yellow Brick Road for two hours of Elton John hits, from Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting and Crocodile Rock to Philadelphia Freedom and I’m Still Standing, plus many, many more.
Love’s tribute show takes a journey through Elton’s life and career, the highs and the lows, with many a laugh too. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Tea time part two: The Tiger Who Came To Tea, York Theatre Royal, September 1, 2pm and 4.30pm, and September 2, 11am, 2pm and 4.30pm
COMMEMORATING the centenary of author Judith Kerr’s birth, The Tiger Who Came To Tea is back on the road in a 55-minute musical production adapted and directed by David Wood.
This slice of teatime mayhem serves up singalong songs, oodles of magic and interactive fun suitable for children aged three upwards when the doorbell rings just as Sophie (Millie Robins) and her mum (Katie Tripp) sit down to tea. Who could it possibly be? Enter a big, furry, stripy, tea-guzzling Tiger (Benjamin Stone). Scott Penrose, former president of the Magic Circle, provides the magical illusion designs. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Art event of the week: Fangfest, Fangfoss, near Pocklington, September 2 and 3, 10am to 4pm each day
NEXT weekend’s Fangfest, the Fangfoss Festival of Practical Arts, features 30 artists and craft makers demonstrating and exhibiting their work, from woodworking, rocking horse-making, felting and painting to wire sculpture, medieval tile techniques, jewellery and peg loom-weaving.
A mixed-media pattern design workshop and drop-in craft activities, such as children’s card marking, pot-throwing on the wheel, pottery painting and a collaborative mixed-media mural, will be taking place too. A charity sunflower trail, classic car collection, pantomime-themed flower festival in St Martin’s Church, fairground rides, archery sessions and busking spots for ukuleles, a shanty crew, young celloists and a pop choir are further attractions. Entry is free.
Nostalgia afoot: Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems, York Barbican, September 9, 7.30pm
BBC Radio 2 presenter, DJ and producer Jo Whiley, the voice of a Brit generation, is heading for York after rummaging through her record bag to dig out the very best of 1990s’ anthems.
Whiley was on the cutting-edge, leading the charge as Britpop blew up, dance music exploded and indie went wild. Now comes the chance to re-live those magical memories on a dancefloor, from Oasis to Blur, The Chemical Brothers to The Prodigy. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.